Weird start time here: from what I can see, first pitch will be at 6:10pm in Denver, an hour earlier than I thought it would be. Maybe it's a bizarre plan to discomfort the Diamondbacks, who arrived there after another one-run loss, dropping a series despite their pitching allowing only six runs over the three games. We also extended our streak of losing one-run games - that's six of our last ten defeats, and we haven't been on the right side of one since June 11. Perhaps it's an omen that Max was the winner in that one?
Scherzer's ERA+ is 123; third-best on the Diamondbacks, behind Haren (206) and Davis (144). No other team in the majors have a trio of qualifying pitchers so good, and only a handful have two; indeed, four teams, including the Rockies, don't have a single such starter. It's clearly not the front of the rotation that's been the problem for Arizona in 2009. Max's last start wasn't up to much, though his defense has to be held largely responsible, tagging him for five unearned runs in a fifth inning where they gave the Angels six outs. None of that today, please.
Though, actually, the Rockies pitching hasn't been bad - though their top guy, Jimenez, has an ERA+ worse than our #3, it's not by much, at 121, and he's closely followed by Cook (120), Marquis (117) and Hammel (116). The good news is, tonight, we face the #5, former D-back de la Rosa, though he never reached the majors with us. He was actually a D-backs twice: he initially signed as an amateur free-agent, then came back from Boston in the Schilling trade, left for Milwaukee in the Sexson deal, and then went through Kansas City on his way to Denver. I feel fairly confident we can take him down. We certainly should...
And this one's for Poseidon's Fist, who seemed alarmed at some of the methods previously used here to get the offense going, specifically, the threatening of defenseless animals unless positive action resulted. In deference to his sensitivities (hah! I bet he's kind to children and the elderly too!), we'll go the other way with the incentive program today:
- Felipe Lopez 2B
- Ryan Roberts 3B
- Justin Upton RF
- Mark Reynolds 1B
- Gerardo Parra LF
- Chris Young CF
- Luke Carlin C
- Augie Ojeda SS
- Max Scherzer P
Ryan Roberts starting? Really? And in the two-hole? 2-for-37 in the past month? Well, that's the quota of question-marks used up for this Gameday Thread, and with the pitch increasing at the end of each sentence, I now sound like I'm communicating with dolphins. Should be about for much of this one, having got the day off work: yeah, I thought today was the fourth, but that's tomorrow. When I'm not working tomorrow, though I had to actually take a vacation day for that. You'll understand my confusion...